Organizational Resiliency: How A Midwest Community CollegeManaged Student Success During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

John Nadalin

Committee Member

Gary White

Committee Member

Charles Fenner


The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged student success and the ability of colleges to deliver the education students need for the workplace. The purpose of this qualitative dissertation case study was to investigate how the organizational resiliency of a Midwest community college impacted student success during the COVID-19 pandemic by examining the contributions of static and dynamic resiliency characteristics and dimensions. Exploration and analysis of the resilient characteristics and dimensions of student success focus on the key factors of instructional modality, instructor-student engagement, and socioeconomic influences. Conclusions are based on thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with the college’s senior leaders triangulated with information from public documents and a student survey. The researcher concludes that the college’s static resiliency components of solid planning and infrastructural preparation for probable events, a longstanding collaborative commitment to achieving key elements of student success, and effective internal communication processes produced the robust capacity for flexibility and innovation that distinguishes dynamic resiliency. Innovations that accelerated decision processes, faculty and staff encouraged to experiment based on regular feedback, and energetic action on non-academic stresses had positive effects on student success during the COVID-19 pandemic. One result was that for the fiscal year 2021-2022, the college awarded the highest number of degrees in its history to all students and to African American males, with 99 percent of students rating the quality of their education as good to excellent.